The adverserial "Justice" System
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14-10-2011, 05:03 PM
 
The adverserial "Justice" System
The thread on "Sex with kids" opened up a can of worms in my mind.

I hate the adversarial “justice” system.

It is not based on trying to find the truth, but it is based on WINNING, regardless of truth, regardless of guilt or innocence, regardless of harm done or not.

It perfectly goes hand in hand with Capitalism. Winners and losers, regardless of worth or harm to society.

It is based on lies, theatrics, emotional manipulation and loopholes to get the guilty off or punishing the innocent if that is what it takes to win the case.

Sign of insanity in our immature, unthinking, often unconscious society.

Rant over.

Let me know what you think...?

Huh
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14-10-2011, 08:26 PM
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
(14-10-2011 05:03 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  The thread on "Sex with kids" opened up a can of worms in my mind.

I hate the adversarial “justice” system.

It is not based on trying to find the truth, but it is based on WINNING, regardless of truth, regardless of guilt or innocence, regardless of harm done or not.

It perfectly goes hand in hand with Capitalism. Winners and losers, regardless of worth or harm to society.

It is based on lies, theatrics, emotional manipulation and loopholes to get the guilty off or punishing the innocent if that is what it takes to win the case.

Sign of insanity in our immature, unthinking, often unconscious society.

Rant over.

Let me know what you think...?

Huh

You have proved to me there is a god, and you are it.

I have nothing to add. I could say much but I think I will just leave it there for now. Amen.

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14-10-2011, 09:27 PM
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
I have made several visits to court this past month. And I have noticed that your level of "innocence" largely depends on your income and how well the judge knows the lawyer you paid for. The people that chose to represent themselves were greeted with outright incredulous snarls and disrespect. And if you request a public defender, you literally have to fill out a form that determines whether or not you are poor enough to qualify for one.

What kind of shit is that?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

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14-10-2011, 09:43 PM
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
(14-10-2011 09:27 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I have made several visits to court this past month. And I have noticed that your level of "innocence" largely depends on your income and how well the judge knows the lawyer you paid for. The people that chose to represent themselves were greeted with outright incredulous snarls and disrespect.

Why? Because you aren't feeding the system. Been there, done that. The "order" and "wording" and "procedure" is god. Money is the password. You pay the lawyer that knows the procedure. The procedure is a like a secret chant that lawyers know. Judges only listen to procedure so the outcome becomes easily determined. I'm not saying that the less fortunate always loose. I'm saying the outcome is not necessarily logical or fair. Fair has little to do with it. So, defending ones self is always inadequate.

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15-10-2011, 05:17 AM
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
Luckily for me, I am great with words, specially these diplomatic things, writing complains to the court. I have written complaints for me and all of my friends, for various reasons, from pot possession to traffic violations and all of them were received and processed and nobody has ever paid any fines, thanx to my BSing skills. Also, I have couple of lawyers around me, but I very rarely ask them for help, they would not understand me, they would just yell and scream at me how I will go to jail, so I prefer to do it myself. Plus, here in Croatia, we have very slow legal system, so it all goes out of date before they get a chance to prosecute me, I have no idea how it work outside of my state.

But when I saw how a real lawyer solves small problem, when neighbors reported a party and we all got a fine for being too loud, I was simply amazed. He wrote a complaint on 4 pages (!!) for such a stupid thing (for every person individually), and of course all charges were dropped. If you are too loud, that is it, there is no BSing from it, but the guy was incredible, he has killed the judge with a lot of words and pages of words, so it was easier for them to just drop everything.

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15-10-2011, 07:45 AM
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
So, the alternative to an adversarial justice system is .... what, exactly?

BC - sorry about your troubles, but are you suggesting the PD should be provided, at tax payer expense, to people who can afford to pay a lawyer on their own?

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15-10-2011, 08:54 AM
 
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
(15-10-2011 07:45 AM)BnW Wrote:  So, the alternative to an adversarial justice system is .... what, exactly?

Scientists often have conferences, symposiums, etc., to discuss one specific idea and find out if it is true or false.

They usually don’t appoint one scientist to argue for, and another to argue against, the idea, ignoring and attacking everything the other said – they just take turns looking at the issue, examining it from all angles, listening to each other, modifying their own thoughts on the subject, based on what they hear from the others and trying to reach a consensus.

Niels Bohr once said to Wolfgang Pauli: "We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct"

But scientist are usually intent on finding the truth, rather than winning the argument even if they are wrong.

ETA:

A somewhat related comment: I have a perfect marriage of 30 years because neither of us ever wanted to win an argument just for the sake of winning. We listened to each other, learned from each other and usually arrived at a consensus that was, for us, the truth in the argument. It all boils down to what you want: win for the moment or "live long and prosper"? Big Grin
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15-10-2011, 09:57 AM
 
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
If you look at the long list of wrongful convictions/dismissals, those that we have found out (tip of the iceberg, I am sure), the travesty of justice was usually due to the spirit of the adversarial system: wanting to win at any cost, by whatever means they could get away with: including lying, cheating hiding/skewing/falsifying evidence, shameless emotional manipulation, smear tactics, bribing expert witnesses, loopholes, technicalities, etc., etc. Ever heard of O.J.Simpson?
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15-10-2011, 10:14 AM
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
Justice has always been a difficult issue for societies. On one hand, honest people need protection from the predators among them; on the other, some predators always rise to the top, where they can manipulate the system for their own gain.

A symposium on each alleged car-theft and embezzlement, fist-fight and speeding offense might slow justice down to the point of paralysis. Even if that method were applied only to the most serious crimes, people accused of murder - even innocent people accused of murder - might grow old in prison before a determination was made in their case. Justice needs to be carried out with reasonable despatch.

One possible alternative is a tribunal with no affiliation. The biggest problem with that is: who? Judges tend to come from the prosperous ethnic and religious majority middle class, and represent, in their unconscious attitude, if not overtly or deliberately, the interests and values of their own stratum. If the tribunal is appointed or chosen by lot, as in a jury system, they will be unversed in forensics, and thus make mistakes. In either case, the judges will always be vulnerable to bribery or intimidation. Corruption.

The problem you all cite is corruption. It's not the legal system that's at fault, but the economic system.

The adversarial model is not only - and perhaps not even primarily - intended for criminal justice, but for civil disputes: contract, employer/ labour, financial, divorce and and custody, landlord/ tenant, water rights and resources. In these cases, there are two well-defined, opposing points of view and something at stake which each side clearly wants. Most cases are necessarily win-lose propositions: nobody wants half a baby; a compromise with which neither party is content may have to be imposed.
Traffic violations, misdemeanors and public nuisance make up the bulk of district court cases, where the adversaries are the community - as represented by a professional advocate - vs the miscreant. Very few of these cases are dramatic or complicated; they need little in the way of truth-finding, and a judge can cut through the standard crap with reasonable speed and fairness. Bureaucracy can complicate the procedure, but that's more a result of cumulative efforts to be fair to an ever increasing, and increasingly diverse population than ill-will.
This model has the advantage of a single judge, who knows the law but does not know the disputants, ruling on the legal merits of each case, quickly and efficiently. Having an attorney - who knows the law, but does not know the disputants - representing each side is an extra component that could still work, so long as full disclosure is the rule, the rule is always obeyed, and all lawyers are equal. That's the theory. Of course, that's never entirely how it works out, but an effort could certainly be made to keep it balanced.
In criminal cases, two more elements are introduced: 1. the police, who are charged with investigating objectively, since they serve the community, not any person or special interest. Again, this is a theory that can be applied well or badly. and 2. the jury of the defendant's peers, whose job is both to weigh the evidence and to counteract any class prejudice the judge may bring to the case. In theory, these people have no bias; are screened before selection begins and examined by both lawyers and judge. So far, so fair.

Then comes the economic system. A tiered fee schedule for lawyers. Whole flocks of lawyers allowed to represent one defendant, a lone overworked second-year law clerk representing another. Police resources allocated to the political career of prosecutors. Police commissioners with agendas of their own and budgets. Police officers who know which side their careers are buttered. Media reportage vying for audience share and advertiser patronage. Media supporting one candidate over another for its own backers' agenda. Political election or appointment of judges and officers of the court. A judicial system that runs on money. An electoral system that runs on money. A society that runs on money.

In a society that runs on money, the entire symposium of forensic scientists deliberating a case would be up for auction, too.

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15-10-2011, 10:25 AM
 
RE: The adverserial "Justice" System
(15-10-2011 10:14 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Then comes the economic system. A tiered fee schedule for lawyers. Whole flocks of lawyers allowed to represent one defendant, a lone overworked second-year law clerk representing another. Police resources allocated to the political career of prosecutors. Police commissioners with agendas of their own and budgets. Police officers who know which side their careers are buttered. Media reportage vying for audience share and advertiser patronage. Media supporting one candidate over another for its own backers' agenda. Political election or appointment of judges and officers of the court. A judicial system that runs on money. An electoral system that runs on money. A society that runs on money.

I couldn't agree more, Peterkin.

Quote:In a society that runs on money, the entire symposium of forensic scientists deliberating a case would be up for auction, too.

That is a bit on the pessimistic side for me -- I have a lot more respect for scientists than to generalize like that. True, there are bad apples everywhere, even among scientists, but if it were typical of us, we would still be living in the caves. Sad

ETA:


Quote:A symposium on each alleged car-theft and embezzlement, fist-fight and speeding offense might slow justice down to the point of paralysis

I did not suggest to have a scientific conference for each case. It is the SPIRIT of the process that I was arguing for and against.
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